Wired: The Nintendo DS is the perfect platform for Japanese role-playing games. Sprawling, 40-hour epic journeys are far better suited to a handheld device — which you can play on the train and put down at your convenience — than a TV-hogging game console.
In 2010, Japan agreed with me: With Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light and now Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the Nintendo DS has become home to three excellent examples of the country’s cartoony take on role-playing games.
So how does Dark Dawn stack up? On the Japanese RPG tradition spectrum, the series is far closer to conservative Dragon Quest than risk-taking Final Fantasy. It’s not quite as good as either, lacking the former’s charm and the latter’s pizzazz. But Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a solid, if somewhat generic, RPG that fans will enjoy absorbing in short or long doses.